Pez collector’s £30k obsession has taken him around the world
A Pez collector with a collection worth £30,000 has travelled the globe because of his love of the sweet dispensers.
David Midgley, who has more than 3,000 of the quirky children’s toys, has visited conventions in the United States and travelled to Pez’s country of origin in Austria.
The 46-year-old property developer, from Mill Hill, north London, whisked his wife Beverley, 45, away to Vienna for a surprise weekend away – only to drag her to a Pez convention in the city before heading to the factory where they have been produced since 1927.
David, has forked out around £20,000 amassing his collection over 13 years – also visiting the Burlingame Museum in California and the company’s headquarters in Stanford, Connecticut.
David said: “I had them Pez as a child but I never hung to any of them and I think I was probably more interested in the sweets.
“I only really got into collecting them about 13 years ago when I saw them in a magazine and I liked the way looked on display with all of the colours and the variations in design.
“It’s gone on from there and I buy and sell a lot in bulk now but I think that I probably have the biggest collection of vintage Pez in the UK.
“I’ve got some from 1970 that are worth £1,000 and they attract a lot of interest from other collectors who want to buy them or see pictures.”
David first became interested in the sweet dispensers when flicking through an interior design magazine while in New York.
After thinking that they looked stylish, he immediately headed to the iconic Schwartz toy shop in Manhattan where he purchased in 50 superhero-themed dispensers in one go.
Since then, the Pez fanatic has collected and traded dispensers continually and reckons he has the ‘most extensive collection of vintage items in the UK’, with some individual examples worth more than £1,000 on their own.
The rush to expand his collection saw him race to the Saatchi Gallery in London to buy 200 Rolling Stones dispensers when they were released as part of the Exhibitionism display in April.
He then attend the UK’s first Pez convention in Norwich, Norfolk, last month with fellow devotees.
In his quest to spread the word about Pez, David has also successfully lobbied the Miller’s Collectables price guide to include the dispensers.
He has also managed to convince graphic designer Beverley to let him convert his loft to put his collection on permanent display at the family home.
And David admits that son Archie, 11, has already started his own connection while also having one eye on inheriting David’s haul.
David said: “Most people I speak to don’t know what they are that they are still being made to be honest.
“When I bring it up in conversation at a dinner party or something like that, people will look at me in a strange way and I have to explain what they are and why I do it.
“My wife loves them too and will happily come along to conventions with me but she does go quite mad sometimes because they are in cases all over the house.
“Archie loves it and really is crazy for it. My collection is older than him and he has started collecting too and has some duplicates from me.
“He’s really keen in helping me find rares ones that I don’t have and even comes to conventions with me.
“But I think he knows how much they’re worth and has one eye on inheriting them from me in the will.”